Posts Tagged ‘Wire’

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Some amazing reissues this week and an awful lot. We have Guns ‘n’ Roses, Wire, Aphex Twin, Guru and that LOST Coltrane album, I would happily have any of them as my record of the week.

The reissues of the first three Wire albums on vinyl are upon us, and not before time. Wire emerged from the ghetto that is St. Albans in October 1976, inspired by the punk explosion. Harvest Records, a label which had up to that point had a roster comprised almost completely of acts punks would have spat on decided it needed to get in on the act and signed them, not realising they were not, despite an exquisite talent for melody and inventiveness, going to furnish them with hits, and so they parted company in 1979. As it happens, “Pink Flag”, “Chairs Missing” and “154”, spanning playful art punk, new wave and post punk in a seamless line between 1977 and 1979 are about as good as any of those genres get. The three are all indispensable artifacts of the era.

Let’s Eat Grandma follow up the much vaunted “I, Gemini” with the equally beguiling “I’m All Ears”, while the Gorillaz enthusiastic genre bending mission continues unabashed with the excellent “The Now Now”.

Record Of The Week goes to Numero Groups stunning compilation of the first 4 albums by Happy Rhodes. Pure dream pop, I instantly fell in love with this. Its like a more stripped back Kate Bush, which brings in some lovely synth as it progresses.
Its the kind of album that I wish I had received a promo for as I have massively under ordered! You can stream on Numero’s bandcamp page,

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Let’s Eat Grandma return with their newest edition, ‘I’m All Ears’ which an even greater revelation than Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth’s globally acclaimed debut, I, Gemini. The second act from the British teenage vocalists, multi-instrumentalists and songwriters, is the most startling, infectious, innovative and thrilling record you’ll hear this year. It is alive with furious pop, unapologetic grandeur, intimate ballads; with loops, Logic, outrageous 80s drum solos, as well as production from David Wrench (The XX/Frank Ocean/Caribou), Sophie (famed for her own material and work with Madonna, Charli XCX and Vince Staples) and Faris Badwan (The Horrors). Their sound has developed a stronger electronic tone while remaining their upbeat young vocals throughout. It’s an album that cements Let’s Eat Grandma as one of the most creative and exciting bands in the world right now.

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Florence + the Machine  – High As Hope

Florence + the Machine announces new album, ‘High As Hope’. For perhaps the first time, ‘High As Hope’ is a record that is as intimate as it is epic, with the more restrained sound relatively speaking; Florence knows herself well enough now to declare “I’m never going to be minimal” -mirroring this sense that happiness doesn’t always have to be big and dramatic:There’s a lot of love in this record, loneliness too, but a lot of love.”

An album that mixes high and low–from a tribute to Patti Smith one minute to being ghosted over text by a date the next –‘High As Hope’ is made up, says Florence, “of joy and fury”…

“Towering performer twirls back with power and poetry” – Evening Standard,
“A euphoric return by a singular talent” – Telegraph,
“an appealingly visceral force” – Guardian.

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Happy Rhodes – Ectotrophia

The first authoritative compilation of American dream pop artist Happy Rhodes, whose singular songwriting and four-octave vocal range emanated from the pastoral confines of upstate New York in the 1980s. Her melding of classical music influences with synthesizer and acoustic guitar, and her enchanting and idiosyncratic singing, are favorably compared to heralded English chanteuse Kate Bush. Fans of such artistic pop music would be remiss to overlook Rhodes’s similarly remarkable and otherworldly sonic transmissions, traversing tales of dreamers, outsiders, lovers and other lovely and terrifying creatures born of a wellspring of wild creativity and bold imagination. Affectionately remastered from the original tapes, Ectotrophia gathers essential songs from Rhodes’s mid-’80s salad days, many written when she was just a teenager – wildly ahead of her time and unafraid to bare her soul to regional audiences, the ectophiles who’d eventually coin an entire subgenre of pop music in her honor. Dive deep into ecto, with the woman who started it all.

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Dawes – Passwords

On the group’s sixth album, Passwords, inspiration pulls guitarist / singer Taylor Goldsmith, drummer Griffin Goldsmith, bassist Wylie Gelber, and keyboardist Lee Pardini into their most universal, topical territory to date. This is a record about the modern world: the relationships that fill it, the politics that divide it, the small victories and big losses that give it shape. Taylor’s writing is personal at points – the result of his recent engagement, which lends a sense of gravity and self-reflection to album highlights like Time Flies Either Way and I Can’t Love – but it also zooms out, focusing not on the director himself, but on everything within the lens.

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The Alarm  –  Equals

Equalsis The Alarm’s first album since 2010’s Direct Action. It is a barnstorming collection of 11 songs that act as a retrenchment of old values and a poignant reflection of the tough times Mike Peters and his wife Jules have been through in recent years. Produced by George Williams (who previously worked on 2005’s Under Attack), Equals opens with a torrent of epic rock numbers such as Two Riversand Beautiful, which see Peters singing about coming to terms with the past before moving to enjoy life to the full. With Mike and Jules joined by Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros drummer Smiley and guitarist James Stevenson, who cut his teeth with Chelsea, Gen X and The Cult, the album encompasses twin harmony guitars, pounding drums and electronic layering, while guest guitarist Billy Duffy (The Cult) helps Peters and Stevenson blend acoustic and electric sounds on Coming Backwards.

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Ryan Adams –  Baby I love You

A ONE TIME pressing on PINK COLOURED vinyl with backed on the B-Side by “Was I Wrong”.
No, it isn’t a cover of the Ronettes classic of the same name, but it’s “A song to one’s baby, whom they love – a unique twist on Ryan Adams’ classic recipe, with key ingredient ‘sad’ replaced by ‘happy,’” according to the press release.

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Graham Nash – Over the Years

Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Graham Nash burst on to the scene during the British Invasion with The Hollies before he formed the legendary supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash in 1968 with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. As Nash prepares to launch a European tour in July, he looks back at some of his best-known recordings from the past 50 years in a new anthology featuring more than a dozen unreleased demos and mixes. Over The Years… features 30 tracks has been painstakingly curated by Nash and longtime associate Joel Bernstein and includes extensive credits and liner notes. The anthology highlights songs from the iconic CSN debut album (Marrakesh Express) and its successor album Déjà Vu, for which Neil Young joined forces with CSN (Our House and Teach Your Children) as well as songs from subsequent CSN albums (Just A Song Before I GoandWasted On The Way). In addition, the collection highlights songs that Nash recorded for his 1971 solo debut, Songs For Beginners, including Military Madness and Simple Man, and includes unreleased mixes for two other songs from that album: Better Daysand I Used To Be King. The most recent recording on the compilation is Myself At Last from Nash’s 2016 solo album This Path Tonight. Two tracks from his enduring albums with David Crosby (Immigration Man and Wind On The Water) are also included in the collection.

2CD – The CD version includes 15 demo recordings, 12 of which have never been released. Standouts include the 1968 London demo of Marrakesh Express, rejected by the Hollies and setting the stage for Nash’s relocation to Los Angeles and the next chapter of his life. The set contains early versions of CSN classics like Our House, Wasted On The Way, Pre-Road Downs, andTeach Your Children. Other unreleased gems include: I Miss You and You’ll Never Be The Same — both from Nash’s 1974 solo album Wild Tales — and Horses Through A Rainstorm, originally intended for Déjà Vu.

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Buffalo Springfield  – What’s That Sound? Complete Albums Collection

Before playing its final show on May 5th, 1968, Buffalo Springfield released three studio albums on ATCO during an intense, two-year creative burst. Those albums – Buffalo Springfield, Buffalo Springfield Again, and Last Time Around – have been newly remastered from the original analog tapes under the auspices of Neil Young for the new boxed set: What’s That Sound? The Complete Albums Collection. Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin played their first show together as Buffalo Springfield in 1966. The same year, the band recorded and released its self-titled debut, which included the iconic protest song, For What It’s Worth, featuring lyrics as poignant now as they were then, in addition to standouts like Burned, Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It, and the band’s first single, Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing. The group spent the first half of 1967 making Buffalo Springfield Again, which was the first album to feature songs written by Furay (A Child’s Claim To Fame.) Stills and Young both contributed some all-time classics with Bluebird and Rock And Roll Woman from Stills, and Mr. Soul and Expecting To Fly from Young. When Last Time Around came out in July 1968, the band members were in the midst of transitioning to new projects: Stills famously joined David Crosby and Graham Nash in CSN; Young went solo; and Furay started Poco with Jim Messina, who produced Last Time Around and played bass on two of the songs. Highlights abound on the album with Young’s I Am A Child, Furay’s Kind Woman and Stills’ Uno Mundo.

5CD – Five CD Box Set, Clamshell with Five Wallets. The 5-CD set includes Buffalo Springfield and Buffalo Springfield Again in mono and stereo, as well as the stereo version of Last Time Around.

5LP – Five LP Box Set. The 5-LP set includes Buffalo Springfield and Buffalo Springfield Again in mono and stereo, as well as the stereo version of Last Time Around.

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Wire  –  Chairs Missing

Wire’s first three albums need no introduction. They are the three classic albums on which Wire’s reputation is based. Moreover, they are the recordings that minted the post-punk form. This was adopted by other bands, but Wire were there first. These are the definitive re-releases. Each album is presented as an 80-page hardback book – the size of a 7-inch, but obviously much thicker. After a special introduction by Jon Savage, Graham Duff provides insight into each track. These texts include recording details, brand-new interviews with band members, and lyrics.

This stunning set of presentations also includes a range of images from the archive of Annette Green. Wire’s official photographer during this period, Green also shot the covers for Pink Flag and Chairs Missing. Promotional and informal imagery – in colour and black and white – is featured throughout the books. Most of the photographs have not been seen for 40 years – and many have never been published anywhere before.

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With “Pink Flag” Wire tapped happily into punk’s energy and iconoclastic tendencies, “Chairs Missing” is, perhaps, a little truer to their own instincts. They didnt completely shed the past completely; the joyful “Sand In My Joints” and grinding “Mercy” have more than a hint of “Pink Flag” about them, but their 1978 offering is moodier and much more textured than its predecessor, the addition of swathes of electronic sounds moving them firmly into post punk territory, a genre they helped to spawn. There is pure pop beauty on here too, of which “Outdoor Miner”  and “French Film Blurred” being the most gorgeous examples.

Pink Flag was very much Wire’s punk rock album, and while they fully embraced it’s revolutionary spirit, they came at it from their own obtuse angle. unhindered by talent (any kind of prior musical schooling) they gleefully took a baseball bat to Rock’s overblown torso with humour and irreverence, producing classic, unsurpassed razor pop brilliance and a joyful antidote to the pomposity of their forerunners.

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“154”, released in 1979, is perhaps the most overlooked of the first trio of classic Wire L.P.s, before a ten year haitus interrupted only by esoteric solo releases. It develops further on the electronic and experimental direction of “Chairs Missing”, and while guitars are not entirely done away with, keyboards and often unsettling vocal harmonies are the dominant mode of expression here. That’s not to say they abandoned their talent for an exquisite harmony, it is very much still there; just bent a bit. That said it is given undiluted free rein during “Map Ref…”, and elevates the sublime “The 15th” into the realm of the gods.

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Golden Smog – Down By The Old Mainstream

Golden Smog, the alternative-country super group from Minneapolis, released this debut album on Rykodisc in 1995 and this is the first time it will be repressed on vinyl since the original release in 2010. The loosely connected, interchangeable group has comprised members from the Jayhawks, Wilco, Soul Asylum, Run Westy Run and Big Star. This new deluxe ROG package will come in a gatefold, old school tip-on Stoughton jacket with printed inner sleeves.

‘Down by the old mainstream’, was recorded in 1994 in only five days. it was made up mostly of original songs written specifically for the project. the songs on the album revealed a fun, spirited sensibility …allowing the band members to let loose from their day jobs. Golden Smog first appeared in 1992 with the release of their ep, On Golden Smog. a side project for members of whose true identities of the band members were veiled by the use of pseudonyms david spear, michael macklyn, raymond virginia, scott summitt, jarret decatur-lane and leonardson saratoga. each name was a deliberate clue that included an actual middle name and part of the address of each band member.

All This Weeks important Releases….

John Coltrane – Both Directions At Once – The Lost Album – Impulse
Guru – Jazzmatazz – UMC (3LP Box set)
Happy Rhodes – Ectorophia – Numero Group
Arp – Zebra – Mexican Summer
Guns ‘N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction – UMC (2LP)
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92 – Apollo
Wire – Pink Flag – Pink Flag
Wire – Chairs Missing – Pink Flag
Wire – 154 – Pink Flag
Florence & The Machine – High Hopes – Virgin (Indie Exclusive)
Lena Platonos – Lepidoptera – Dark Entries
The Orb – No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds – Cooking Vinyl (Indie Exclusive)
Eddie Harris – Plug Me In – Get On Down
Various Artists – Disques Debs International – Strut
Ryan Adams – Baby I Love You 7″ – Paxam (Indie Exclusive)

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Wire‘s first three albums are stone-cold, classics and it’s pretty amazing to think how far the band progressed in just three short years, from their 1977 minimal punk debut Pink Flag, to 1978’s angular, perfect Chairs Missing, to 1979’s the synth-embracing and at times Eno-esque 154. All three album should be any collection, and now they’re being reissued and remastered in new deluxe editions that Wire are releasing themselves, due out May 22nd as CD box sets and then June 22nd as single-disc CDs and vinyl LPs.

Wire’s first three albums need no introduction. They are the three classic albums on which Wire’s reputation is based. Moreover, they are the recordings that minted the post-punk form. This was adopted by other bands, but Wire were there first.

These seminal albums are now getting the definitive re-release treatment, in a format owners of the Silver/Lead and Change Becomes Us special editions will already be familiar with. Each album is presented as an 80-page hardback book – the size of a 7-inch, but obviously much thicker.

The boxes contain demos, radio sessions, live recordings, b-sides, alternate versions and more, not to mentions booklets containing new liner notes from the band, introductions by Jon Savage and rare photos that haven’t been seen for 40 years..  Pink Flag is a two disc set while Chairs Missing and 154 are three-disc sets.The bonus tracks will be exclusive to physical editions

Meanwhile Wire are releasing a singles box set for Record Store Day titled Nine Sevens. It features Wire’s six singles that were originally released on the Harvest label, one released on Rough Trade (1981’s non-LP “Our Swimmer”), and one single recorded in 1980 that was never released on 7″. There’s also the rare EP that came with initial copies of 154.

Both the album reissues are the singles box are all remastered from the original analogue source tapes with replicas of the original artwork. Check out the remaster of Wire’s often-covered “Outdoor Miner” (a single and on Chairs Missing):

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They may not take the leaps into new territories they once did, but instead explore the detail in the terrain they themselves uncovered. Thus, repetitive rhythms nestle alongside walls of fuzz. However, this is a slower, more melancholy Wire, one that finds them at their most melodic and enigmatic. As ever, it requires more than a thesaurus to unravel lyrics such as “Skippering a skiff, in the typhoon season” and “Have you got a shed of ions?” But Diamond Cups and A Short Elevated Period are some of the strongest tunes they’ve ever done. The faster-paced latter song sees – as an old compilation was once titled – Wire play pop, but in a manner that pushes at the form, with a chorus only arriving at the end. Wire continue to thrive on their own terms.

Opening with the plangent “Playing Harp For The Fishes”—where Graham Lewis’ rich baritone intones over Colin Newman and Matt Simms FX-drenched waves of guitar—this is an album as intense as it is playful. Robert Grey’s spartan but immaculately nuanced drum patterns lift the arrangements throughout. And, whilst Wire are still the go-to band for angular psychedelics (“An Alibi”) and oblique but melodic post punk (“Short Elevated Period”), Silver/Lead sees them experimenting with a more glam inflected template.

“Forever & A Day” suggests the elegant swing and compressed drama of early Roxy Music, and the buzzing and glinting “Diamonds in Cups” has a flavour of T-Rex at their most groovesome. With Silver/Lead, the group prove once again that late-period Wire can easily lay claim to being best-period Wire.

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Pink Flag was “perhaps the most original debut album to come out of the first wave of British punk” and also “recognizable, yet simultaneously quite unlike anything that preceded it. Pink Flags enduring influence pops up in Hardcore Post Punk Alternative Rock and even Britpop, and it still remains a fresh, invigorating listen today: a fascinating, highly inventive rethinking of punk rock. The albums  a brilliant 21-song suite.  It’s a brief, intense explosions of attitude and energy, the band coming up with a collection of unforgettable tunes

Who says you don’t learn anything from art school?,  Tell that to Colin Newman and see how long it takes you to get a fist to the face or a mouthful to the ear. As singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the band Wire, the art-school graduate opted for the six-string over his easel, but he didn’t stop painting.  The wildly subversive “Pink Flag” album suggests, his art was in taking a minimalist approach to punk rock and hitting the genre with broader strokes. Like his contemporaries, there’s volume to his sound and angst to his songs, but it’s splattered across every facet to the music in wildly unpredictable ways. That’s why you can leap from the crunchy pop of “Ex Lion Tamer” toward the plodding psychedelia of “Strange” and over to the doo wop bliss of “Mannequin”. Basically, you never get the sense that they’re leaning on any one thing in particular, and that’s one of the many distinctions of post-punk.

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Bruce Gilbert – guitar, sleeve concept
Robert Gotobed – drums
Graham Lewis – bass guitar, sleeve concept
Colin Newman – vocals, guitar on “Lowdown” and “Strange”

If Wire got a shilling for every time a post-punk band cited them as their main influence, they’d move up a social class in England. But actually, the word “punk”—and probably even the word “post”—no longer really applies to a quartet that has established itself in recent years as a somewhat ear-friendly art rock band. Compared with their seminal 1977 album Pink Flag Wire’s latest album, “Silver/Lead”, makes it sound like their debut was playing at 45 RPM. No doubt, the Colin Newman–led band is not the same as it used to be fifteen albums ago. And that’s exactly the point.

Devotees have savored the band’s unpredictable evolution to this point, but those who only own the band’s first three records may be disappointed by Silver/Lead. Like the punchy and taut Pink Flag, the current iteration of Wire is nimble, but the band relishes reverberating guitars and Zen-like soundscapes; this latest effort is even chiller than 2015’s Wire and 2016’s Nocturnal Koreans. Detractors might disparage the new record as a series of whimpers let out by old fogies, but patient listeners who respect the modern-day Wire as its own creature will discover beauty in many of Silver/Lead’s ten tracks, like when Newman pleads, “Ooh, darling / I want you to stay / Forever and a day,” over a bed of light-as-a-feather instrumentation (on “Forever & a Day”).

Are you the same person you were at age twenty-two (Newman’s age when he formed Wire)? If so, you’ve probably stopped exploring new music—and probably share little in common with Wire’s vision.

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First track made public from Wire’s 2017 album “Silver / Lead” to be released 31st March 2017.

WIRE – ” Diamonds In Cups “

Posted: March 5, 2017 in MUSIC
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English post-punk greats Wire are still going strong after 40 years together. They’re already following up 2016’s Nocturnal Koreans with their soon-to-be-released 15th studio album Silver/Lead. Today we’re playing the track “Diamonds In Cups,” the second single from the new album following last month’s upbeat “Short Elevated Period” This one features some exceptional guitar work that takes you up and down on a blissful, bouncing ride. With much of their recent material, Wire continues to keep true to themselves in a way that makes old fans stick around, while still freshening up their sound enough to engage new generations with each new decade of music. Listen to “Diamonds In Cups” below.

The Silver/Lead release falls a day before the anniversary of the band’s first gig together at the Roxy in London in 1977. To commemorate, Wire will be headlining the Los Angeles edition of Drill Festival, the band’s small, curated show series. Pink Flag, Wire’s seminal debut album, turns 40 years old in December. But somehow, the post-punk pioneers are still around, and even more miraculously, they still sound absolutely vital. They cranked out a album last year and an album the year before that, and their streak is continuing this year with the newly announced LP Silver/Lead. It’ll be out 31st March , on the 40th anniversary of their debut performance, and they’ve just shared lead single “Short Elevated Period,” a fuzzy blast of surprisingly melodic guitar-pop

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Colin Newman of Wire

When Wire put out their first album, “Pink Flag,” they were the epitome of what punk rock was about: rebellion against the status quo and the music that came before it, both in aesthetics and sound. This is when punk rock was about taking chances and doing something different. Pink Flag is different from what came before it as well as from other punk of its day. It also manages to be incredibly catchy at times, and dark at others. The darkness becomes more profound on “Chairs Missing,” and even more so on 154. Wire’s proclivity for some surprisingly poppy pieces, interspersed with some very dark music and some other sonic experimentation’s, make for a fascinating listen. There is no finer first three album releases in all of music. Each of their first three albums are perfect or near-perfect. They are still a band to this day and their new albums still receive critical acclaim.

While much ink has been spilled on these albums in the four decades since their release, the men of Wire released the definitive statements on all three this year. These multi-disc reissues, packaged in handsome book form with copious liner notes from Graham Duff and perfectly ornery remembrances from critic Jon Savage, tell as complete a story as possible of the creation and execution of each record. Each album has been remastered and left as its own document on the first disc, with the bonus discs fleshing out the tale with contemporaneous singles and studio work, and copious demo recordings.

Essential Albums: “Pink Flag” (1977), “Chairs Missing” (1978), “154” (1979)

Photo: We're very excited to announce that we have been added to the DRILL Festival in Brighton this December alongside Wire, Swans, Savages, Gold Panda, These New Puritans, TOY and loads more. Tix: http://www.drillfestival.com